WanaBe a ChefGood schools in Bay Area

The Old WanaBe a Chef Forum

Looking for a Culinary Arts Program?

If you live near any of the programs listed below(or are interested in living these areas while in school)click on the link to get free, no obligation information on the programs.

All the Best,

Atlantic Culinary Academy (NH)
California Culinary Academy
International Culinary Academy (PA)
The Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago
Western Culinary Institute (OR)
California School of Culinary Arts, Pasadena, CA
Texas Culinary Academy, Austin, TX

WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: Good schools in Bay Area
By Myfanwy (Myfanwy) on Monday, October 25, 1999 - 06:38 pm: Edit

I'm am currently looking for a good cooking school in the San Francisco area. I am inexperienced, but my love of cooking (esp. baking) spurs me on. How can I compare cooking schools? I know the CIA is renowned, but what about the California Culinary Academy? Any others? What options do I have to pursue a program only part-time?
-Eager in SF

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Saturday, November 06, 1999 - 12:31 am: Edit

The CCA has a fabulous B&P certificate program, but it is very expensive. Make certain that this is what you want to do before enrolling. The CIA in the Bay Area is a graduate school and offers continuing ed only. If you manage to register for a class, they'll only kick you out shortly thereafter. The only exception are their wine courses which are fabulous and open to the general public. Other schools include Tante Marie, San Francisco City College and Mission College in Santa Clara.

Cheers, Mike.

By Nocalifcwboy (Nocalifcwboy) on Saturday, November 20, 1999 - 11:51 am: Edit

AVOID THE CCA aka CALIFORNIA CULINARY ACADEMY LIKE THE plague. This is the biggest con-artist, scam school ever. It was sued recently for FLASE ADVERTISING. Several suits exist in the Superior Court, Municipal Court, Small Claims from defamations of Character (termianting a student for making complaint School retaliated by making false and misleading statements about student) sexual harassment (from staff/student) sexual discrimination, refund of tuition, NON PAYMENT OF BILLS. The president of the CCA, Keith Keogh, was also sued along with Sally Sacchetto, Assitant Dean, B&P Department Head, Robert Parks, other suits exist. COMPLAINTS FROM STUDENTS ARE IGNORED. Find another school, Do you want to go to a school were the president has been sued for threatening the life of a student????????????? Good luck. Steve

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Thursday, January 13, 2000 - 04:42 pm: Edit

I didn't think this warranted a response, but I can't let this thread end on that note. So, for those of you who are considering a culinary school, let me give you a somewhat less biased and vitriolic review of the California Culinary Academy.

The school has some administrative problems that were a big hassle for me. Administratively, it is one of the poorest run businesses I have encountered. However, they are making efforts to improve. I can't comment on the claims of lawsuits because I know nothing of this.

Despite these problems I still went there because of two major reasons that I have outlined below.

First, it is located in San Francisco, which is arguably the culinary capital of the world. You can go to the CIA in Hyde Park, NY, but you can't drive a two-hour radius from Hyde Park and experience the awesome range of fresh produce, wine, and artisan products that you can in San Francisco. It is easy to arrange tours with the makers of some of the best products domestically produced.

Second, the quality of instruction is very high. The CCA's 2-year associates degree program is the only program in the United States, as of last I heard, that automatically earns graduates Certified Culinarian status with the American Culinary Federation. With other schools you have to work 3-4 years after you graduate before getting this designation. That puts you a big step ahead in gaining your Certified Sous Chef and then Certified Executive Chef titles.

Cheers, Mike

By Jeffery357 (Jeffery357) on Thursday, January 09, 2003 - 11:23 pm: Edit

Well Mike you're wrong. There are a host of school offering the designation of Certified Culinarian upon graduation. Get this: most of them are community colleges. While you psy $40k for your associate degree I'll pay $4k. We'll both be CC's too. I'm not saying CCA is bad (I kinda like it) but it's not the "only game in town".

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 10:36 am: Edit

Touche Jeffery...good for you for not dishing out the big$$$$$$$$$ when you don't HAVE to!!!!!
Most ACF accredited programs offer the CC certification upon graduation.
Keith Keogh has not been associated w/ CCA for a long time, he is in R & D ion FL. w/ Darden restaurants as VP of Culinary Excellence or some silly title like that!

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 03:18 pm: Edit

They are eligible for CC but they still have to have the need experience points.


By George (George) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 03:35 pm: Edit

This don't make sense-
To get the 20 points required for a CC you need about 3 years working as a cook IN THE SAME PLACE.

To get any points at all you have to spend 1 year at a location.

Most new grads jump around for the first two or three years.

Sounds like there woun't be to many folks getting CC's to me.

BTW as I recall before 01-01-03 all you needed to get a CC was a degree from an ACF Certified program and membership in the ACF.

Am I missing something?


By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 03:46 pm: Edit

As I remember, when it was announced at the 2001 Western Conference that CCA Grads would get the CC designation there was a huge stink made by some older members because it would forgo the experience points.

It was soon qualified that they would need the experience points to receive the CC designation.

Far be it for me to say that the Certification committee did something right, but how could Certification mean anything if there was no on the job experience behind it? Though I'm not sure about "Only one full-time job in one time frame".

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 06:58 pm: Edit

The job does not have to be in one place, depending on the program work experience can be awarded also. Most kids in cooking schools hopefully have at least a PT job somewhere! and that's how they would get their experience points.

By George (George) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 07:07 pm: Edit

That certanily makes sence but from the AFC Site-

"Work experience points are computed based upon the chart below. Each month after a full year in the same job will count as an additional 1/2 point. For example:

1 year and 1 month = 6pts + 1/2 pt = 6 1/2 pts.
3 year and 3 month = 21pts + 1-1/2 pt = 22 1/2 pts.

Full year at same
Establishment Points
1st year 6pts
2nd year 13pts
3rd year 21pts
4th year 30pts "

Is there a separate point plan somewhere for the CC?


By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 07:54 pm: Edit

The scary part is, if you work long enough at McD's, BK or some other joint like that you could conceiveably be a CEC one day!!!!!!!!!!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 12:43 am: Edit

would you like an apple pie with that ?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 08:51 am: Edit

Spike!!! YOu dirty dog!!! How the hell are you?
Whare you been'? Happy New Year dude...Elwood too!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 10:37 am: Edit

been hanging out in simi valley, north of la.
trying to put together some numbers for a pastry/bake shop.
how was your holiday's?
did the kids have a good time?
you went to disney land, yes?
elwood is good, raked in the gifts !!! HA...
got more bones than he knows what to do with.
everything else is fine.
same old here i see.....
I'm trying to work this pastry shop so i can have guest chef's come in every couple of months and do a menu for a couple of days.
it will have a couple lunch items and a couple of dinner items.
also pastry and baking classes, tapes of products
and an intern program, or would that be an apprientice program.
no stone unturned, you know?
the guest chef thing should be fun, bring one of you guys in for the weekend, put ya up and throw ya some cash, and let ya go!
film the whole thing then sell the tapes in the front. simi valley does not have sh*t for rest's.
and NO bakery, 'cept for von's. you have to travel 20 min's to get a good loaf of bread.
if nothing else it will be fun.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 12:22 pm: Edit

Hey Spike,
Are you sure they know what good bread and pastries are in Simi Valley.

Fourteen years ago I helped open the Clarion up on the hillside, back then it was a Raddison. I left there to open a place like your talking about but in Thousand Oaks.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 06:51 pm: Edit

yea, if they don't buy at von's, they leave the valley.
that bakery still open in thousand oaks? whats the name?
where's that hotel you speak of
in simi?
i have not seen any raddison hotel.
there's one right off of first street and the 118,
but i don't know the name.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 10:34 pm: Edit

The Bakery is not there any more,

That's the hotel.
It's a Clairion now.

By Jeffery357 (Jeffery357) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 08:06 pm: Edit

George, the ACF never said you had to be a cook in the establishment. Merely working there in a production capacity will suffice (I think). And it doesn't have to be at one locale. One year each in three different establishments will do. I know at graduation I will be a Certified Culinarian and have 10 education and 20 experience points to boot. With this I am THAT much closer to my CEC.

It's gonna happen, people. Just watch me!!!!!

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 08:16 pm: Edit

Jeffery your are right "General experience" is experience gained at any level.

Work experience points are computed based upon the chart below. Each month after a full year in the same job will count as an additional 1/2 point. For example:

1 year and 1 month = 6pts + 1/2 pt = 6 1/2 pts.
3 year and 3 month = 21pts + 1-1/2 pt = 22 1/2 pts.

So if your were to change jobs every year it would take you Four years.

Full year at same
Establishment Points
1st year 6pts
2nd year 13pts
3rd year 21pts
4th year 30pts

The faster track is staying in one place. These point breaks are geared toward ACF apprenticeship programs.

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 11:18 am: Edit

Back to the CCA, I don't have any direct experience with that school, but I do attend the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. Both are sister schools owned by the Career Education Corporation and are affiliated with Le Cordon Bleu. We had some really serious problems that sound very similar to what upset Nocalifcwboy so terribly, culminating in a petition at the end of last semester -- started by a certain troublemaker who shall remain nameless but who, in my humble opinion, is a very intelligent and good looking guy :) -- signed by about half the student body.

To their credit, CEC responded immediately and forcefully. They forced out the innefective president, scrapped the botched registration process for this semester and started from scratched, hired much-needed security guards, replaced outdated equipment, painted the entire building and hired a dean of students who actually has a clue. Now we can focus on cooking, since I'll match CHIC's faculty and curriculum against anyone's.

- Steve

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 02:46 pm: Edit

good Man!....Manny and I are proud of you!
Give them HELL student.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 02:56 pm: Edit

Steve, what's up?
Any good news?

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 09:45 pm: Edit

Hey, did I say it was me???? I didn't say it was me!!!

OK, so maybe it was me.

I'm taking Meats and Fish, Shellfish and Poultry this semester -- the two classes I've been looking forward to most. Having a blast. I made duck gallantines (cheated -- roasted them and served them hot) and twiced baked sweet potatoes for my daughter's birthday. Yummy. Got Larousse, a digital scale, a china cap and blade guards -- not too bad.

The end is in sight -- only International Cuisine and my externship this summer and I have a piece of paper saying I can cook. But that's the easy part, isn't it?

- Steve

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 10:41 pm: Edit

Digital scales are for drug dealers and blade guards for sissy boys!
Use a balance scale and use common sense with the blade

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 10:56 am: Edit

I don't really know the inside problems at the CCA. I do know that several of the guys with whom I attended the CCA, who still live in the bay area have tried to hire from there. The students are not taught respect, basic skills, or even to show up for interviews. If they show up, they are sloppily attired and do not act as though they are interested in working.

One guy who was hired kept asking how long it would be before he could expect to have his own TV show (he did not speak English well, but at least had good knife skills.) It is sad and scary because it really diminishes the education I got there.

By Corey (Corey) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 11:14 am: Edit

geez, I learned better basic skills at a community college. even our culinary union too.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 08:08 pm: Edit

whats a blade guard???....Manny, is our student turning into a wimp before our eyes?
Oh the shame...the shame!
and here I thought we were teaching him better.
Maybe you should go get a cup and wear that in the kitchen too?
( but lets not bring THAT into to everything we talk about, OK? )HaHaHaHaHaHa
It sounded like you thought we had forgotten about you, or maybe you wished we would have, well forget about that STUDENT.
If fact we want to see that report card, so just send a copy to George and he'll scan that puppy and put it up for us to see.
and don't go buying no more "stuff" til ya talk to us...digital scale!?, is that how your paying for school? You should have said ya needed school books, we would have sent ya some. LOL

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 09:19 pm: Edit

Blade Guard??? for a knive or slicer?
Either one......dump it!

By Corey (Corey) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 02:49 am: Edit

ya, be a man and just use bandaids like the rest of us....

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 11:10 am: Edit

To protect the knife or you?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 11:57 am: Edit

To cover the cuts you get from the ungaurded blades.

By Corey (Corey) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 01:00 pm: Edit


By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 02:09 pm: Edit

Geez, maybe I need a guard to protect me and my fragile psyche from you guys :)

The blade guards protect my knife roll -- the blades have been slicing through the stitching (I keep 'em sharp, you know). And as for the digital scale, I like it. So there.

And Spike, only because I treasure your and Manny's approval, I'm going to scan my report card when it comes next week and e-mail it to the two of you. And tell me when your birthday is, so I can get those blade guards in the mail.

By Corey (Corey) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 03:21 pm: Edit

guards are not that expensive, I got mine with my messermiesters, they were only a few bucks each and really do save your rolls and fingers.
specialy if you have a bad habit like me and just shove your hand into your roll because you
need your chef's knive and feel you have no time
to open in and look. and if you carry your roll in a backpack too.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 07:31 pm: Edit

backpack?, what are you,....10 years old?
when I carried my knives in N.Y. I kept them in my back pocket, so I could get them out faster.
what the hell is messermiesters??????
Chef Manny and I will be looking for that report card, student. fragile psyche, what the hell is that!?!?, don't go girlie on us now.
study hard. don't wait to be told to do something, just do it, and just to appease some here, don't forget to cook those damn eggs in your Mousse'.

By Corey (Corey) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 07:54 pm: Edit

I have used these knifes from day one to present.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, January 20, 2003 - 06:34 pm: Edit

Good job Steve, looking for the straight A's.!!!!

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 04:38 pm: Edit

Corey, I think if you're trying to get to Northwest Cutlery (a great spot for buying knives), the site is www.cutleryandmore.com.

- Steve

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 09:35 pm: Edit

Where's that report card?

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 12:07 pm: Edit

It's coming, Spike. Two of my five classes this semester didn't show up on it, so I've got to get the registrar to enter them in. I want all of my A's to be on it :)

By the way, Spike, I was browsing through eBay with the keywords "stand mixer," and someone with Spike in his handle was selling a 40-year-old Hobart. Was that you?

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.

See Forum in a Frame